Every now and then, you stumble across a record that every single fan of guitar-based music needs to hear. Not a record that deserves a listen only if you have the time, nor a record that you can put on in the background while you get ready for a night out. Some creations demand your full attention right away, whether you’re ready for them or not, and ‘Melted on the Inch’ by Wigan quintet Boss Keloid is one such masterpiece.
For a band who are still relatively inexperienced in the grand scheme of things, Boss Keloid manage to expertly craft complex, expansive soundscapes while avoiding the pitfall of throwing too much at the wall and hoping some of it sticks. The musicianship on display here is of the highest quality, with each and every member providing a vital contribution that results in one of the most complete bodies of work you’ll hear all year. The vocal delivery from Alex Hurst in particular is one of the most commanding performances of the decade, as his bellowing voice takes charge of proceedings like a conductor of a sludgy, psychedelic orchestra.
For all its charm though, this is hardly a straightforward record. There’s a level of progressive eccentricity that goes the extra mile to excite, enthral and dazzle in equal measure, with opening track and lead single ‘Chronosiam’ featuring more ideas, twists and turns than most bands attempt over the course of an entire record. Where lesser bands may rely on relentless power or insanely technical riffing to make an impact, Boss Keloid simply do not need to pigeonhole themselves in the slightest. Instead, there are small bursts of speed and aggression, followed by sweeping prog passages that allow you to float away from reality and into an almost hypnotic trance.
‘Peykruve’ soon ambles in with a wonderfully inventive instrumental passage that is as creative as it is ballsy – a theme that’s evident throughout the whole record and one that is incredibly refreshing to hear. A band that takes so many risks with such swaggering confidence is a brave band indeed, but any misgivings are well and truly swept aside inside the opening moments of the record and, judging by the way they continue to take multiple leaps of faith throughout, it’s pretty evident that Boss Keloid aren’t ones for dwelling on what could have gone wrong.
The band start to truly push themselves into another stratosphere on ‘Jromalih’; a concoction of swirling riffs, thunderous doom-laden drums and at times demonic vocals. When every element comes together the end result is an esoteric masterpiece that, while perhaps slightly too complex for those not of a prog persuasion, is undeniably one of the most stunning musical creations of the year. Despite its intricacies, you don’t necessarily need to just be a prog fan to like this record. If you’re into shoegaze, doom, or even the more simplistic, radio-friendly end of the rock spectrum, there’s undoubtedly something for you on this album.
Boss Keloid have all of the ingredients to become one of the UK’s top bands, and with a collection of simply jaw-dropping tracks now under their belt, there’s really no telling just how far they could go. Holy Roar Records provide a home to an incredibly high percentage of Britain’s most unique, challenging and talented artists, but even within their stacked roster there are very few bands who could stand toe to toe with Boss Keloid. They really are that good, and this record really is one of the most incredible things you’ll hear this year.
‘Melted on the Inch’ is out now via Holy Roar Records.